Social distancing system protects employees returning to work
The Edinburgh-based firm Reactec has repurposed its system for monitoring workers' exposure to health risk to create “Safedistance”, which enables employers to manage the social distancing of their workforce within construction, rail, manufacturing and other workplaces.
The Safedistance technology works by using Bluetooth enabled Reactec devices to detect other Reactec devices within a two-metre range. It is based on an industrial grade wrist-worn device, which as well as alerting workers if they’re too close to each other, also:
- Informs employers of the frequency and severity of breaches of social distancing protocols
- Can assist with contact tracing of those who have been close to employees subsequently displaying COVID-19 symptoms
- Can facilitate contact tracing across employers on busy infrastructure projects
- Ring fences work teams who need to work more closely together in controlled cohorts
- Can be expanded to enable real time intervention by a supervisor in the event of social distancing breaches
Jacqui McLaughlin, CEO of Reactec, said: “Social distancing will clearly be with us for some time and it’s vital that when people get back to work they can do so safely. Our team has moved quickly to repurpose our technology to help businesses to ensure that their teams are working safely.
“Reactec, is already dedicated to helping reduce the damage to workers’ health from exposure to vibration, so developing our technology to include social distancing was a logical next step in response to COVID-19. We want to play our part in getting everyone back to work safely and with confidence.”
Reactec has discussed the capabilities of Safedistance at Ministerial level with the Scottish Government. Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, said: “Technology is going to play a crucial role in helping us overcome the long-term challenges presented by COVID-19 so it is great to see innovative, dynamic companies repurposing existing technology to help us protect workers from potential exposure in the future.”
More than 45,000 of Reactec’s Hand Arm Vibration (HAV) monitor, HAVwear, on which Safedistance is based, are already in circulation in the UK. Reactec is offering to enable these devices remotely by adding the safe distancing software free of charge – meaning that its existing clients can ensure safe distancing of employees while also continuing to protect them from harmful vibration.
One of the companies trialling Safedistance is civil engineering group, Keltbray. Paul Deacy, Managing Director Demolitions and Civils, said:
“Keltbray already uses HAVwear as it’s a robust product and the analytics reporting with its automation and GDPR compliance are critical factors to Keltbray providing actionable intelligence. So when Reactec approached us to trial the new social distance functionality we already had confidence in the product. Keltbray is encouraged by this new offering. This could truly assist us in managing social distancing across our projects.”
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